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Home > Press > Visualizing Nanotechnology and Nanosystems

$10,000 Animation Completion Challenge Grant Deadline November 15, 2004

Visualizing Nanotechnology and Nanosystems

A major challenge in communicating the power of this technology

Foresight Institute

Palo Alto, CA November 1, 2004

A highlight at the 1st Conference on Advanced Nanotechnology held in Washington DC was the premier of "Productive Nanosystems: from Molecules to Superproducts," a computer-generated animated short film.

This four-minute film is a collaborative project of animator and engineer, John Burch and pioneer nanotechnologist Dr. K. Eric Drexler. The film depicts an animated view of a nanofactory and demonstrates key steps in a process that converts simple molecules into a billion-CPU laptop computer.

These steps include the sorting of molecules, precise atomic construction through the use of placement tools, and the assembly of smaller parts into larger parts. Scenes depicting initial tool preparation show molecular reactions based on computational quantum chemistry, and later stage manufacturing processes are based on industrial processes found in large-scale factories.

The premiered version, v0.8, of "Productive Nanosystems: from Molecules to Superproducts" received great applause and was screened, by popular request, two additional times during the conference. This film will make tremendous strides in the education of students, researchers, policy makers and members of the media in the understanding of nanosystems.


Thanks to Mark Sims, President of the nano-CAD software company, Nanorex, Foresight Institute has a $10,000 challenge grant running through November 15, 2004. This means that every dollar donated by others up to this total will be doubled.

This grant will ensure completion of the project and will enable broad distribution of the final version over the Internet. All proceeds from the grant will go toward the completion and upgrade of the film.

A sample of the animation can be seen below. The estimated completion date is early 2005.

Slide Show

Animated clip
(it is a large .mov file, so be patient while it downloads. 38 MB, 360x240 pixel format)

Click here to see the progress of the challenge grant,


Contribute online at this secure form

Click on "not a membership, but another donation button"
Enter: "Animation Completion" in the purpose of this donation field

Or if you want to send in your donation by US post or fax Go to this form, print out and send (or print and fax - see contact details below).

Donations are tax deductible in the United States. Large donors may have the opportunity to have their name or logo place on the final credit scroll of the completed film.


Nanorex, Inc, is based in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan and was incorporated in April 2004. The mission of Nanorex is to develop the world's best 3-D molecular engineering software needed to realize the full potential of molecular nanotechnology. Nanorex has seven employees and is led by Mark Sims, President, and J. Storrs Hall, PhD., Chief Scientist.

The tentative release of Nanorex's first product, nanoENGINEER-1 is targeted for Summer 2005. For more information about Nanorex send an email to


Foresight Institute is the leading think tank and public interest organization focused on nanotechnology. Formed in 1986 by K. Eric Drexler and Christine Peterson, Foresight dedicates itself to providing education, policy development, and networking to maximize benefits and minimize downsides of molecular manufacturing.


Foresight Institute
PO Box 61058
Palo Alto, CA 94306 USA
tel +1 650 917 1122
fax +1 650 917 1123

Copyright Foresight Institute

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